(TOI Photo)BENGALURU: Opener Mayank Agarwal will lead Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament starting on October 11. Karnataka, will play their Group C fixtures in Mohali. Mayank replaces seasoned batter Manish Pandey at the helm.
While the team is tried and tested there have been some changes. Top-order batter Chethan LR has been rewarded for his consistency with his maiden senior team call-up. The 22-year-old right-handed batter was the second highest run-getter behind Agarwal in the KSCA Maharaja Trophy T20 tournament recently. In the KSCA T20 league he was the top-scorer (259).
With Covid-19 restrictions lifted, the teams’ strengths are back to 15 from 20 the previous season.
Wicketkeeper Luvnith Sisodia and medium-pacer Manoj Bhandage, who made their debut in 2019 before being dropped, return to the squad. Playing in pace-friendly conditions in Mohali, the former champions have decided to go with three spinners — K Gowtham, J Suchith and Shreyas Gopal — with KC Cariappa missing out.
V Koushik will spearhead the pace department with their mainstay Prasidh Krishna still recovering from injury. Vidwath Kaverappa, who made his first-class debut last season, has been called up alongside Vyshak Vijaykumar and Venkatesh M. Deepak Chougule is back as fielding coach.
Karnataka, who lost to Tamil Nadu in the final last season, are grouped alongside Kerala, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Services and Haryana.
Team: Mayank Agarwal (Captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey, Chethan LR, Abhinav Manohar, Manoj Bhandage, K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Suchith J, Luvnith Sisodia, Sharath BR (both wicketkeepers), V Koushik, Vyshak Vijayakumar, Vidwath Kaverappa, Venkatesh M. Coach: PV Shashikanth; Fielding coach: Deepak Chougule; S&C coach: KC Avinash; Manager: Anutosh Poll.
Schedule: Oct 11: vs Maharashtra; Oct 12: vs Kerala; Oct 14: vs Meghalaya; Oct 16: vs Jammu & Kashmir, Oct 18: Arunachal Pradesh; Oct 20: vs Services; Oct 22: vs Haryana